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26 December 2013 @ 12:51 am
too tired for a real post  
I'm not sure how I felt about that episode *as* an episode - but oh, what a lovely, lovely goodbye scene that was! Which is, let's face it, all I really wanted from this episode after the last go-round with a regeneration, so. I'll certainly need to watch it again, but I sort of felt like it pulled in two directions, and I'm not sure whether I think that was wholly successful or not. What was wonderful was that the Doctor was really just trying to save a town, not a planet or the universe. And there's something lovely
about the way that the man who never stops running settles down, at what he thinks is the end of his life, and stays. The odd thing is that it made all the other stuff - Trenzalore, the Silence, all the big things that have been waiting for Eleven for his whole run - feel oversized and unnecessary at times. I can't decide whether or not I think that was in fact the point. [ETA: What I mean by "the point" - that these things loomed so large in his thoughts, and we were all left to wonder what terrible thing could be coming for him (or what terrible thing he might become, that entire armies would mass themselves against him), and that actually, the thing that was coming was himself, and himself at his very best.]

And I can't write, right now, about Matt Smith - but how lovely, too, to see the young-old man be properly old. Also, making me cry over a Cyberman head while you're wearing age makeup is just completely untoward, Matt. (I was going to write "You stop that," like I often do, only - it's his last episode; he's never going to make me stupid-cry as the Doctor again! Wah.)

Clara should get a look-in here, although my usual problem with her is still in effect: it's so clear how much she loves the Doctor, and when they're in the same space together I love how they interact (especially here, when he's so much older and she's so tender with him), but I still don't know her yet.

And then, AMY! I had idly hoped for a cameo, but didn't expect one - especially not after the other callbacks, like the crack in time, the "drunk giraffe" and the fish fingers and custard. One interesting moment: the narration telling us that the Doctor seemed to have forgotten he'd lived any other life, at more or less the moment that he's doing the drunk giraffe with all of those children. It's not a Henry V-level disconnect - um, Chorus? These soldiers are not really being comforted by this little touch of Harry in the night? - but still, it seems representative of this Doctor in some way. He never talks about Amy, doesn't mourn her ostentatiously in front of the next companion - "who's Amelia?" Clara asks - and it's easy to assume that that means that people don't matter to him - but he wears her glasses and teaches children the dance he did at her wedding, and he comes back for a boy who tells him he'll wait, and his regeneration snack of choice is still fish fingers and custard; and even if it doesn't make it into the official record, it's clear that Amy has changed him, in ways that don't need speech. And "Raggedy man, good night" just broke me, because of "Bye-bye, Pond" and "we're all stories in the end": at the end of a good, long story, it's time to sleep. It was a very good story, my dear Eleven; I don't really want it to end, but I suppose all stories do.
Emily-- Toppington von Monocle: eleven [doctor who]sadcypress on December 26th, 2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
at the end of a good, long story, it's time to sleep.
Oh noooo- Oh, I didn't think of that aspect at all, but that's so lovely.

The word that came to mind instantly last night was "graceful." What a lovely, graceful exit for Eleven. It struck such a lovely balance between sadness and thankfulness- just like Nine's exit, this was a regeneration designed to let us know that while yes, it's sad and it's OKAY to be sad about this Doctor ending, that's what happens. Things end. People leave us. But the Doctor can go on. When I get round to writing about this episode, I'm going to have to try hard to not turn it into YET ANOTHER rant about how much I hated the self-indulgence and self-importance of how Ten went out.

Like so much, I think this regeneration scene was Moffat writing in response to what had come before. Lovely gestures to the past (and oh, I SOBBED when Amy appeared), but never wallowing. It was quiet and graceful and very beautiful- taking off the bowtie (I love how much Moffat appreciates what the bowtie MEANS to the Doctor, it's a very rich symbol for him and he's always known it) just about did me in.
tempestsarekind: eleventempestsarekind on December 27th, 2013 01:29 am (UTC)
But there's so much to rant about! Ten's regeneration even punches holes in RTD's episode "The Christmas Invasion," to say nothing of the overarching history/mythology of the show... Which is to say that I often have to stop myself from ranting about Ten as well. :) ( On a less ranty note, though - it's so interesting that Ten was still clinging to life and desperate to hang on, and Eleven - so much, much older, who had already accepted his death, not just his regeneration - gets the benediction of rest at the end: "good night," not "goodbye.")

And yes - I thought Moffat struck a really nice balance of reminding us how much Amy, the bowtie, etc. meant to Eleven (and to us), but also saying that it was nevertheless right that a new Doctor would step in. I think having *Clara* say "Please don't change" (instead of "I don't want to go") was also a smart move, because it allows us to sympathize with the sentiment without putting it into the Doctor's mouth.

I think, along with the "pile of good things" speech from "Vincent and the Doctor," Eleven's comments here about its being okay to be different people throughout our lifetimes, as long as we remember all the people we've been, will go into my "Doctor Who words to live by" column. What a lovely sentiment for him to leave us with.

Edited at 2013-12-27 01:37 am (UTC)